Police sweep potential hiding spots used to conceal street knives
- Credit: Essex Police
Essex Police officers seized 46 knives during a week-long focus, including knives left by passengers at Stansted Airport. Some weapons are illegal in the UK but are not illegal abroad.
Four knives were found during weapon sweeps across the county, where officers searched potential hiding spots used to conceal weapons. They targeted town centres and areas near train stations.
Essex Police made 21 arrests. In five of these cases, they recovered knives while carrying out a stop and search.
The week-long focus was held nationally. Colleagues from local councils, community safety partnerships and other organisations gave their support throughout the week.
It was in addition to the work Essex Police does to tackle knife crime and violent crime, including action against drug dealers.
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Op Raptor units, which target criminals involved in drugs gangs, arrested eight people on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs, and seized £15,000 in cash and 800 wraps of crack and heroin.
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford said: “These are just some of the results we’re getting every single week from our ongoing efforts to target criminals involved in knife and drugs crime.
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“Officers are out every day on patrol, carrying out drugs warrants, and gathering information and evidence against offenders.
“We’ve also been working closely with UK Border Force to tackle the importation of drugs and prohibited weapons.
“Items that are bought online and destined for Essex are intercepted at a postal hub near Heathrow, and passed to us for investigation.
“Since February, more than 120 parcels have been stopped and seized, preventing drugs and weapons from reaching the streets of Essex.”
The police also work with organisations to make sure vulnerable people and children who are exploited by criminals receive the necessary support and safeguarding.
They are part of the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, a multi-agency partnership that includes the Office for the Police Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Youth Offending Service, Probation Service, councils and health service.
It carries out joint operations, interventions, awareness and education programmes to support young people who are being, or at risk of being, exploited and involved in crime.